Warm Weather Safety Tips for Pet Owners
We don’t know about you, but we’re thrilled that the weather’s warming up and we’re able to spend more time outside with our pets. While spring and summer may be the best seasons of the year for many of us, it is important to remember that it’s not all butterflies and rainbows. There are actual dangers that we need to be concerned about as well! The Williamston Animal Clinic team is here to provide education and information about these dangers so that we can get back to enjoying the butterflies and rainbows after all.
- Heatstroke. When the weather gets warmer, heatstroke becomes a major concern for our pets. Make sure that your pet always has plenty of fresh, cool water to keep them hydrated and never leave your pet unattended in a hot location without air circulation. Parked cars are an absolute “no” for pets, even if the windows are cracked open!
- Hot Asphalt. Have you ever taken your pet for a walk and seen them making a strange marching motion with their paws? This could be the sign that their paws are being burned by the hot asphalt! We encourage all pet owners to walk their pets in the cooler hours of the day, such as during the morning or evening hours, and when possible avoid black asphalt in favor of grass or concrete sidewalks.
- Swimming Pools. Even though dogs naturally default to the “doggie paddle” when they hit the water, not all dogs are good swimmers. We recommend keeping enclosed fencing and locked gates around all pool areas and ensure that your pet is supervised at all times when swimming is taking place.
- Parasite Prevention. Blacklegged ticks are a big problem Michigan. They can spread different disease to people and pets, such as Lyme disease. Lyme disease can have deadly consequences if it’s left untreated. Fortunately, Lyme disease is preventable. Our veterinarians recommend giving your pets parasite preventives throughout the year to protect from the diseases ticks carry. At your next appointment, one of our veterinarians can recommend a preventive that best suits your pet’s lifestyle.
Cold Weater Safety Tips for Pet Owners
When the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we’ll be thinking about cozying up by the fire or making a hearty meal to warm our bones during the cold weather. Keep in mind that there are hazards that are prevalent during the colder months that affect our pets. So we have some tips below that you can use to keep your pets safe during the fall and winter seasons.
- Exercise. The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean that you and your pet can’t get out and be active. Pets need exercise just like we do. If it’s too cold to go out and play, play indoors, or consider signing your pet up for an agility of flyball class. If you do take your pet outside for exercise, keep your time outside short, and be sure to put reflective gear on yourself as well as your pet when it’s dark so others can see you.
- Halloween Costumes. You pat may look cute dressed as Elvis or a ladybug, but not all pets enjoy wearing clothes. They already have fur, and the added layers may cause them to overheat. Also, the clothing may be too tight or uncomfortable, and your pet won’t hesitate to try and chew their way out of their costume.
- Seasonal allergies. As the seasons change, seasonal allergies will rear their ugly heads. Did you know pets can get seasonal allergies like people do? The difference is that pets don’t have sinus problems, they end up suffering from what’s called allergic dermatitis, or skin irritation and inflammation. Our veterinarians can recommend different treatments for your pets’ seasonal allergies, as well as other allergies.
- Hypothermia. When pets are out the cold for too long, they are at risk of developing hypothermia. Hypothermia is a dangerous medical condition in which the body temperature becomes too low, and can be fatal if not treated right away. Young pets, senior pets, and short-haired pets are at a greater risk of developing hypothermia. Keep your pet safe by not leaving them outside in the cold for too long. And if you suspect that your pet has hypothermia, call our practice immediately. This is an emergency situation that needs to be handled quickly. Symptoms of hypothermia include:
- Muscle stiffness
- Low blood pressure
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Inaudible heartbeat
At Williamston Animal Clinic, your pet’s safety is so important to our team, no matter the season. We are always here to provide educational information for pet owners, to help you give your pet their best life! Ask us if you have questions!